REVIEW: ‘Tangled’

Director:
Nathan Greno, Byron Howard
Cast:
Mandy Moore
Zachary Levi
Donna Murphy
Ron Perlman
M.C. Gainey
Rated: PG

Despite the name, Tangled is actually based on the Brothers Grimm tale “Rapunzel.” The film has the original idea, but massively expands on it. In this version, Rapunzel is born as the princess to a kingdom, but during birth, her mother comes down with an illness.

People of the kingdom find a magic flower that immediately heals anything and the mother takes it and the power transfers to Rapunzel’s hair after she is born.

Everything seems fine until Rapunzel is kidnapped by Gothel, who wants to remain young and can use Rapunzel’s hair to do so because of it’s power. However the hair cannot be cut or it will loose it’s power, so Gothel kidnaps Rapunzel and puts her in a tower.

Gothel then raises Rapunzel in the locked tower, never to leave to keep her power. However, Rapunzel gets a chance to leave when a thief named Flynn Rider stumbles upon the tower and agrees to take her to the nearby village for a festival to get her out of the tower.

Going in, I was ready to completely dislike this. From the trailer it seemed like it would be less like the classical Disney “princess” films and try to make it more ‘hip’ and modern. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Tangled really goes back to the classical style and is reminiscent of the other Disney classics.

The story is told really well, creating a larger universe around a somewhat smaller story.

The pace is very good here, moving along at a nice clip. The first act of the film has a great hook, introducing fun characters and setting up a solid adventure. From there, plenty of time is given to develop characters and the movie wraps up nicely at the finale.

I really liked the characters of the film, too. Rapunzel is a very likable person, making for a great protagonist. She’s naive because of her isolation but she never comes across as taking that characteristic too far.

On the other side is Flynn Rider,, who is another well written character being very witty and satirical of everything around him providing a lot of comedy in the film. The movie also gives Flynn some depth, too, making him more than just there for comic relief.

The villain Gothel was alright. She had her moments where she was menacing and even had a song reminiscent of Ursula’s from The Little Mermaid. That said, she’s not one of the more memorable villains from a Disney movie.

Another character that lends a major strength to the picture is Maximus, a military horse who follows the law in every way, shape and form, making him the opposite of Flynn. Despite being a silent character, the staff added in a lot of physical humor to create fantastic banter between the horse and thief

Speaking of the animation, every bit of the film looked incredible. Everything looked very vibrant and full of life, which was especially helpful since Rapunzel is a character seeing the world for the first time.The movie also featured some fantastic action sequences that were legitimately exciting.

Overall, Tangled is a really good addition to the Disney library. It has strong characters to follow through a fun story with nice animation. It was a really solid film so I will put it at a good 4 out of 5.

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Author: Matthew Liedke

My name is Matthew Liedke. I'm a reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer in Minnesota, but I also have a passion for the art of film. This passion led me to start writing about film in 2008. From 2008-2016 I wrote pieces at my own website, After the Movie Reviews. Then, from 2016-May 2018, my write-ups were featured on AreaVoices, a blog network run by Forum Communications Company. Today, I now write film reviews and other pieces here on Word Press. More about me: I'm a 2012 graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead where I studied journalism and film. Outside of film, I enjoy sports, video games, anime and craft beers.

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